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WTOL 11 honored with National Murrow Award for 'Dark Side of Cedar Point'

11 Investigates uncovered dozens of sexual assault allegations inside the amusement park's employee dorms.

TOLEDO, Ohio — WTOL and its 11 Investigates team were honored Tuesday afternoon with a National Murrow Award in the investigative category for its "Dark Side of Cedar Point" investigation.

The Edward R. Murrow Awards are among the most prestigious in broadcast and digital news.

In the spring, the multi-part investigation into sexual assaults at Cedar Point received a Regional Murrow. With that victory, the entry was entered into the national category against 13 other geographic regions. 

WTOL will receive the award at an October ceremony inside New York City's Gotham Hall.

“Edward R. Murrow is recognized as a highly influential broadcaster known for integrity, courage, and investigative journalism. He helped shape the field of broadcast journalism and is particularly remembered for his coverage of World War II," WTOL 11 General Manager Brian Lorenzen said. 

"Receiving the National Murrow Award for our 'Dark Side of Cedar Point' investigation is a testament to the dedication of the entire WTOL 11 news team. It's an honor to be recognized on such a prestigious stage, showcasing the power of in-depth journalism in shedding light on crucial issues. We are grateful for the recognition and look forward to continuing our mission of informing and inspiring our audience."

After discovering a lawsuit in February 2022 that was filed against the park, 11 Investigates requested all sexual assault reports related to Cedar Point employee dorms. It was discovered that dozens of reports existed. After the initial stories aired in May of 2022, additional employees came forward, some alleging that Cedar Point management discouraged employees from reporting allegations. Several victims were also able to tell their stories for the first time.

When the Cedar Point police department refused to turn over additional reports, WTOL and sister stations WKYC and WBNS sued the parent company, Cedar Fair, in the Ohio Supreme Court. The park then turned over additional documents, and the lawsuit is still pending in court.

About a month after the first stories aired, the city of Sandusky stripped policing power from the park's police department. All sexual assault allegations will now be exclusively investigated by the Sandusky Police Department, ensuring a chain of public records available to media.

In the spring, WTOL was also given the First Amendment Award by the Associated Press for its fight for records in the investigation. It is the first television station in Ohio to win the award.

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